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Robert Burns Lives!
Burns in the Running for Great Scot Title

Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Greater Atlanta, GA, USA

This is not the usual-type article for readers of Robert Burns Lives! and is being shared with our readers thanks to Beverley Thomson of the Robert Burns World Federation. After reviewing the press release below from the National Trust for Scotland, I would urge as many of our readers as possible to vote for Robert Burns who is being considered for the title of “Great Scot.” Interestingly Sir Walter Scott is not in the running for the recognition. Burns has opposition from Flora McDonald who knew a thing or two about living in North Carolina where my family of Shaws settled after leaving the Isle of Jura in the mid-1750s. Then there is a pioneering mountaineer that I must confess I know little about but will find a way to enlarge my horizon on Sir Hugh Munro in the days to come. Last nominated for the title of “Great Scot” is Mary, Queen of Scots who, due to family matters, remained jailed until her head was separated from her body with a chop or two of the axe thanks to Mary’s cousin, Queen Elizabeth. Who needs cousins like Elizabeth?

I have spent the better part of the latter years of my life reading and studying Scottish history, particularly Robert Burns. Twenty-five percent of the 6,000 books in my library are on Burns. I ask that our Robert Burns Lives! readers consider voting for Burns as the “Great Scot” in this contest.

My friend David Hope refers to Burns as Scotland’s soul and the one Scot whose words continue to electrify the nation. Well said, David! May I add that Burns is not only a star of mine but is my “Scottish Superstar” and worthy of your vote. Vote for Burns but do not follow the advice of some of the South’s politicians years ago who would urge you “to vote and vote often”! (FRS: 4.20.16)


13 April 2016

Burns in the Running for Great Scot Title

an app's an app for a' that

There’s more than one set of candidates battling it out for victory in the Scottish polls in the coming weeks – Robert Burns is in the running for the title ‘Great Scot’ in a National Trust for Scotland survey.

The Ayrshire bard has already racked up hundreds of votes, but he’s up against some tough competition in the form of four other historical heroes – Flora MacDonald, Jacobite heroine, Sir Hugh Munro, pioneering mountaineer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, globally-renowned architect and Mary, Queen of Scots, Scotland’s would-be monarch.

The campaign for Burns is being championed by David Hopes, Director of the Trust’s award-winning Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway.

David said: “Robert Burns’s words continue to electrify the nation. He is Scotland’s soul.”

The Trust picked five top Scots from history, all with a connection to Trust places, whose fascinating stories and incredible achievements have had a profound impact on Scotland’s history, architecture and landscape, and asked the public to select their ‘Great Scot’.

Votes can be cast online at until 29 April or at Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Falkland Palace, Glencoe Visitor Centre, Hill House, Pollok House and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum until 25 April.

The poll is part of a fundraising campaign to secure the final £100,000 needed to repair the Burns Monument in Alloway - £50,000 has been raised so far. The Victorian structure requires vital conservation work now. Funds have already come from the NTS USA Foundation, grants and individual donors.

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